DID YOU READ

In praise of ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER.

In praise of ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER. (photo)

Posted by on

This year’s top tens are arriving in the double-barrel barrage of both the year and decade. And in these trying times of redundancy and the self-righteous promotion of one’s own taste as the ultimate truth, we need a hero. We need someone who says what they mean and is clear on it while also being entertaining. We need, in short, someone like ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER.

For those of you who don’t read the Onion‘s AV Club on a regular basis, ZMF is a sort of mascot, punching bag and the best. Commenter. Ever.

Essentially, he is (or claims to be, and he’s been way too consistent for way too long for me to doubt him) a guy from the Midwest who loves the heaviest of metal (Slayer are his gods) and the most violent of film. He writes in all caps and spends a lot of time telling various haters to get off his dick. A major criteria for what he loves is “ownage,” in which violence isn’t just extreme but assertive and possessive. And, within these criteria, he’s shockingly on point, discriminating not one bit on levels of arty presumption or genre. He’s actually pretty open-minded.

For instance, this year ZMF is all about “The Hurt Locker” : “THE LOCKER FUCKING OWNS AND EVERYBODY HERE IS ASSIGNED TO SEE IT I AM MANDATING THAT SHIT SO WHEN THIS SHIT COMES TO DOUCHBAG WISCONSIN OR BITCHASS TEXAS OR WHEREVER THE FUCK YOU ALL LIVE YOU WILL GO SEE THE LOCKER […] TOTAL FUCKING OWNAGE BITCH AND YOU WILL GET OWNED WAR IS AWESOME AND THE LOCKER IS AWESOME.”

Beyond that he was most pumped for “Crank 2” — which he loved so much he did a commentary for — and Neveldine/Taylor’s underrated follow-up “Gamer,” a movie I liked as well. “I AM HERE TO REPORT THAT NEVELDINE AND TAYLOR ARE THE FUCKING FUTURE OF MOVIES,” ZMF exulted, which is at least as succinct and pointed as what The Auteurs Notebook had to say about it.

His track record for the last two years is just as solid. In 2008, he top ten’d “The Dark Knight” and “Funny Games” as one and two, without caring one whit about Michael Haneke’s pretensions. He even found room for Stuart Gordon’s underrated “Stuck” at number four. True, the list also included “Saw V” and “Body of Lies,” but the point here is that ZMF recognizes violence and doesn’t care about pretension — or, more importantly, what might be perceived as pretension, which is more than can be said for many critics.

In 2007, he was on point about the Oscar nominations: “GONE BABY GONE GETTING ONE JACKOFF NOMINATION AND NO NOMINATIONS FOR ZODIAC. WHAT THE FUCK? YOU WANNA TELL ME THAT SOME WACK AS FUCK MOVIE ABOUT SOME DUMB BITCH GETTING KNOCKED UP IN HIGH SCHOOL IS BETTER, FUCK ALL THAT.” And he was right!

He’s also exhibited some detailed knowledge of movies going back at least to the ’70s, as when he recently chastised an errant AV Club writer by positing a sort of cultural education which would end with her ” WRITING WALTER HILL FANMAIL AND SHIT AND WATCHING DEVILS REJECTS ELEVEN TIMES IN A WEEKEND.” More people should talk about both Walter Hill and “The Devils Rejects.”

ZMF is hilarious, and his taste isn’t bad when he leaves the “Saw” playpen. Would I prefer this to Armond White’s ideology-before-criticism stance? Yes. Yes, I would. Would I vastly prefer it to the doddering voices propping up movies like “Precious” and “An Education” and so on? Oh, absolutely. Own or be owned: godspeed, ZMF.

[Photos: “The Devil’s Rejects,” Lions Gate Entertainment, 2005; “Stuck,” THINKFilm, 2008]

Neurotica_105_MPX-1920×1080

New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

IFC_CC_Neurotica_Series_Image4

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

Neurotica_series_image_1

IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

via GIPHY

Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

via GIPHY

And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

PL_409_MPX-1920×1080

Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

via GIPHY

Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

via GIPHY

Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

via GIPHY

Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

via GIPHY

Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

via GIPHY

If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.